If you own a smartphone, you have probably become accustomed to having a wireless internet connection where ever you go. On the other hand, unless you picked up a MiFi (personal hotspot) or have a 3G plan for your tablet, that same internet connection for your tablet or computer is restricted to your house, or in some cases, your neighbors house. But what if all you had to do was push a button on your phone and you could share your smartphone’s data with with your tablet(s)? Well, you can.
With newer versions of Android and iOS, smartphones started to become WiFi hotspot’s and tethering devices. This “How To” could end right here if I told you that Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and other wireless providers have plans for sharing your data with your other devices. Generally, they cost $20-$30/month and you get around 2-4GB. But since Android is so open, you can do the exact same thing for free. Finally, we cannot really consider the following apps “illegal” because they are still in the Android Market. Generally, if the app was illegal, it would have been removed already.
PdaNet Tablet (beta)
For starters, you have to download PdaNet Tablet on your Android 2.0+ device AND your Android 2.0+ tablet. Make sure that you download this apps on both the data enabled device, and the tablet you wish to share data with. The app is only just over 200 KB and the user reviews sound very good. The only drawback to this solution, is that “On Honeycomb devices only the Browser, Gmail and Map app will pick up the proxy connection”. So in other words, your tablet will most likely not be able to access the Facebook app through this data connection. However, considering that this is a “root free” solution, having access to the Browser, Gmail, and Maps is not bad.
Now that you have the app installed on both of your devices, open the application on both devices to get started. Once PdaNet has loaded up, click the “Run As Server (Phone)” button on your data enabled smartphone. In addition, click the “Run As Client (Tablet)” button on your tablet. PdaNet does a nice job of keeping the instructions nice and simple. So now, the last thing you have to do is click the “Set Network Proxy”button on your tablet. Once your tablet discovers your phone via Bluetooth, simply tap on your phone to finish the connection. Please “Make sure you clear proxy settings when you are done with using PdaNet so that network connections will be back to normal. Do not uninstall PdaNet without doing this!”
PdaNet claims that the regular PdaNet app is capable of sharing data speeds up to 100 MB/s. However, the tablet application is a different connection entirely. So don’t worry if you do not see 4G speeds on your tablet.
If you want to share data to your computer without rooting your phone, you can download PdaNet 3.02 free from the Android Market.